Happy 175th Birthday to my 2nd great grandmother, Grietje "Grace" Blaauw Koster VanderLaan! She was born on 17 Jul 1846 to Wietse Blaauw and Neeltje Bolheem, the 3rd of 4 children, in Niekerk, Grootegast, Groningen, Netherlands. Her father died when she was 6 years old. Her mother remarried 8 years later, when Grace was 14.
She married Tamme Jans Koster at age 20 in 1867, and was on a boat for America within a month of the wedding, along with several families from her hometown.
She and Tamme settled in Spring Lake, Michigan, where lumbering and mill work was plentiful. After a decade, they bought a farm in Crockery township in north-western Ottawa county, Michigan. Together they had 8 children and lost 2. After 20 years in the Spring Lake area, Tamme died, leaving Grace a widow at age 35 with 6 children.
The lumbering industry in the Grand River valley was depleted, and after two years she married a widower, Jacob VanderLaan, and moved to Missaukee county along with some of the same families with whom she immigrated. She had three more children with Jake, and lived most of her life as a VanderLaan in Missaukee.
Around age 78, she went back to Spring Lake for a visit, and died and was buried there, across the street from the probable grave of her first husband. Her grave was paid for by her second husband, VanderLaan, but the marker names her as a Koster.